Writer: Nick Spencer
Art Team: Chris Bachalo, Livesay, Vey, Faucher, Olazaba, Townsend, Jim Campbell, Joe Caramagna
Release Date: February 13, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Spider-Man, Spider-Man, more bi-weekly Spider-Man. Nick Spencer and company are back again, as we continue with what seems like the second of a two-part arc, setting up all this Spider-Man Hunted stuff we’re about to be dealing with here shortly. So does the conclusion here adequately set up and build excitement for what’s coming down the pipeline? Lets Discuss…
The issue begins with revisiting the Lizard Family as the Lizard himself tries to reason with Billy after last issues father-son conflict, however, he’s not having much luck, especially with Billy secretly texting a mystery ‘person’ trying to lure him out of the sewers. Believe it or not, the Lizard Family scenes were my favorite throughout the issue but that’s about all that worked for me in the Amazing Spider-Man #15 at all.
From there it’s off to Spider-Man as we supposedly deal with the aftermath from last issues cliffhanger, but this is where several problems in the story begin to show their cracks, the art itself being chief among them. There is just something about this story that either feels very rushed, shortened, or just off for some reason in general because there are large portions that just don’t make any sense. Big conclusions need to be made throughout the story to assume things are happening or happened off-panel, for this story to progress. Again the art is the main issue here, however, the story doesn’t do it any favors either, as it continues to move at a snail’s pace in the overall scheme of things. There is more than one example throughout this book of pages being paneled very weird, with either entirely too much white area, or having an effect that looks like what should be a full double page spread is cut in half. At other times the art is sooo zoomed in on the action or character its difficult to make out what is what, some character faces are simply two dots for eyes and a straight line for a mouth, it just looks like no attention to detail was paid here, and while I’m usually a fan of Chris Bachalo’s art, this is far from his standard expected comic book work.
Nick Spencer also isn’t doing himself any favors lately and it feels like he currently has a case of ADD while penning this title. All the supporting cast he’s set up all but vanishes for long stretches of this title, Peter’s roommates, or love life anyone? Meanwhile using Kraven as a cliffhanger for about six of fifteen issues so far just makes me sick of the character at this point, not excited for an upcoming story involving tie-ins, he wants us all to be invested in.
I feel like this book is currently obsessing over Spider-Man’s past entirely too much for my liking, really for no reason at all, other than to continually name drop and recap characters. This issue is Ned Leads turn in the spotlight for one page, as he’s revealed to be the homeless man May took to dinner, only to be killed as a way for more forced Spider-Man drama, possibly with Betty, which is also done a couple other times this issue with Rhino and May. Ya, ya, ya ‘Parker Luck’ I get it, but beating a dead horse and going to the well too often, three times in one issue, for example, is a bit much. Sometimes good things can happen for Peter too.
This two-issue story reintroduces Kraven and Arcade back into the mix again, and while I like that we don’t always get just six-issue arc’s over and over again, the ADD effect of this book jumping anywhere, and everywhere while focusing on nothing is really wearing thin on me. After suffering through some very sub-par art, and Secret Empire inspired set up for this upcoming Amazing Spider-Man Hunted story, I just don’t look forward to the future of this book much anymore. I’m starting to dream for the days I see a new writer on this book already, less than one year into this current run.